2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999

Outstanding Alumni

Jim Beasley

  • Is Senior Vice President of Willbros USA, Inc., managing pipeline projects around the world including a 220-mile crude oil and products system in Iran, a high-pressure water pipeline in Colorado, and a heated fuel oil system in Georgia.
  • Served on the Board of Directors of the MU Alumni Association.
  • Received the Missouri Honor Award from the College of Engineering and was in the first class of the MU Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
  • Provided leadership for Boy Scouts of America activities, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Trout Unlimited, and a number of conservation organizations.

Carolyn Cochran Clark

  • Became the first woman partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy, a noted Wall Street law firm, in 1977 and has spent her entire career with the firm.
  • Was the first woman named president of the Harvard Law School Association.
  • Is or has been on the advisory boards of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Conservancy, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Public Library.
  • Has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, is a member of the American Law Institute, and a Regent and Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Leo Lewis III

  • Is the Associate Athletic Director at the University of Minnesota.
  • Was a star football player at Hickman and the University of Missouri, going on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals professional football team, and the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Has received numerous athletic awards.
  • Established the Lewis Sports Foundation, a service organization dedicated to providing young people with the necessary life skills to be successful in education and sports.

Richard Mendenhall

  • Is owner of ReMax Boone Realty in Columbia and Jefferson City.
  • Served as president of the National Association of Realtors, the largest professional trade association in the world and was recognized for his service to the real estate profession as Missouri Realtor of the Year.
  • Served as president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and president of the Regional Economic Development Commission.
  • Received the Athena Award of the Women’s Network of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award of the Great Rivers Council for his service to Boy Scouts.

Retired Educators

Michael Bancroft

  • Served as an English teacher at Rock Bridge High School for over 20 years and also as the District Language Arts Coordinator for 5 years.
  • Appointed Assistant Professor of Education at Central Methodist College to be the Director of Clinical Experiences and teach methods courses upon his retirement from Columbia Public Schools.
  • Served on numerous leadership teams at the building and district levels and has been described as a leader of teachers.
  • Shared his expertise though developing curriculum at the district and state levels, placing and supervising student teachers, publishing articles in professional journals, and serving as an instructor for the Missouri Scholars Academy, Truman State University, and Columbia and Central Methodist Colleges.

Mary Ann Gates

  • Taught English (all levels) at Hickman High School for 27 years.
  • Selected as national merit Presidential Scholar Teacher of Influence in 1990 and 1996 and the Columbia Community Teachers Association Outstanding Educator.
  • Shared with the profession through presenting at state writing conferences and participating in the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Developed a course, Man and Myth, for the MU Independent Study Curriculum.

Vernon ‘Hap’ Whitney

  • Named Director of Physical Education and Athletics for Columbia Public Schools in 1981 and then Director of Competition for Show Me State Games after his retirement.
  • Held various positions at MU including Head Wresting Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Director of Support Services, and Assistant Professor of Physical Education.
  • Recognized as Columbia Public School Educator of the Year and the Missouri State Athletic Director of the year by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
  • Received the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Award of Merit and the Gerald Linneman Lifetime Achievement Award and was a finalist for the National Athletic Director of the Year Award.

Mary C. (Khaki) Westerfield

  • Taught English (all levels) and chaired the Language Arts Department at Hickman High School and was the Secondary Language Arts Coordinator for the Columbia Public Schools.
  • Serves as the Coordinator of Field Experiences, the Liaison for Fellows Program, and Instructor in the MU College of Education.
  • Received the “Most Influential Teacher” Award from University of Missouri and University of Chicago, 1990, 1991, and 1992 and recognition as the Columbia Fund for Academic Excellence Outstanding Senior High Teacher.
  • Contributed to numerous professional development activities for teachers including publishing in professional journals, presenting at state and national meetings, and advising the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Amelia Cottle

  • Served as president of the Rock Bridge High School Bruin Booster Club, an organization supporting all student athletes.
  • Took the role of the team parent who organized buses, tailgates, team meals and the football program for the Football Booster Club.
  • Supported the Rock Bridge High School Choir and Show Choir Boosters by putting together the music booster program and attending all school plays and musicals.
  • Attended every PTSA meeting and worked to encourage all of the supporting groups of Rock Bridge High School to work together in an efficient and effective manner.

Lisa Lang

  • Has been actively involved in the Columbia Public Schools – Grant Elementary, Smithton, West Jr., and Hickman – for the past 25 years.
  • Made all of the costumes for one of the plays at Grant, cutting, sewing, and fitting until each was perfect.
  • Served many years as chair of the teacher appreciation committees for Grant, Smithton, West, and now Hickman.
  • Chaired “Funesta” at Grant, helped with the theater productions at Smithton, and assisted with registration at West and Hickman.

Lynn McIntosh

  • Served as co-chair for many years of the Hickman concession stand, the major fund raiser for the Hickman PTSA.
  • Has co-chaired the set-up for the Hickman Hog Roast for three years.
  • Is a long-time supporter of Hickman musicals.
  • Has persuaded volunteers to continue to work for schools for years after their children have graduated from Hickman.

Reggie Rieger

  • Served as the Volunteer Coordinator for PTSA at West Junior High, recruiting volunteers and organizing all volunteer efforts.
  • Was known as one of the most dependable volunteers for the music department at West Junior High, Smithton Middle School, and Rock Bridge High School.
  • Donated countless hours to help students who came to the health room at Fairview Elementary and Smithton Middle School.
  • Helped coordinate and assist with the health fairs and school health screenings.

Special Service

Charley Blackmore

  • Developed and maintains a database containing more than 32,000 Hickman Kewpie graduates.
  • Assembled and administers the Kewpie Classmates Web site with more than 3,600 registered Kewpies, which brings everyone who goes to the site a little closer to Columbia regardless of where they live.
  • Provides an invaluable resource for reunion committees.
  • Instigated and coordinated two very successful major fund drives for Hickman High School.

William (Bill) L. Fairman

  • Founder of FairCom Corporation, headquartered in Columbia, which supplies a full range of database software to programming professionals worldwide from school library systems, 911 emergency systems, credit card processing, factory automation, accounting systems to space agency data tracking.
  • Served as President of the Columbia Public School Foundation Board for several years.
  • Was treasurer of the Foundation for many years, producing financial records and numerous reports for tax purposes, district business office, and portfolio updates.
  • Developed and maintained data bases as needed by the Foundation.
  • Assisted in the review of requests for Foundation grants.

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Cindy Mustard

Cindy Mustard is co-owner of Tiger Trolley Tours and is the former executive director of Voluntary Action Center in Columbia. A Columbia native, she attended the University Lab School, Jefferson Junior High School and Hickman High School, and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She serves on the board for the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, the Missouri Symphony Society and the Family Impact Center, among others, and is active as a Chamber of Commerce ambassador and a member of the Columbia Downtown Rotary Club. Cindy has been honored for her service and volunteerism with the Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award, Athena Award from the Chamber of Commerce, MU Outstanding Faculty-Alumni Award, the League of Women Voters Citizen of the Year and the CPSF Hall of Leaders, among many others.

Cindy joined the CPSF board of directors in 2012 and feels that CPSF is “truly a unique organization and it is an honor and privilege to serve on it.” Cindy believes “so strongly in the Columbia Public Schools that being on the board of CPSF is one way I can give back to the schools. I was so fortunate to receive such an excellent academic background that prepared me for college over 50 years ago that being a part of CPSF will ensure that today’s students will continue to receive the very best educational opportunities.”

Abe Bahadori
President Elect

Abe Bahadori believes that education is fundamental for the success of our youth. Abe is an insurance producer at The Naught-Naught Agency. He previously worked for Shelter Insurance for ten years and considers himself fortunate to have worked for an organization that was heavily involved with the community and CPS. Abe is a CPS graduate, having attended Lee Elementary, Gentry Middle School, Jefferson Junior High and Hickman High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Lincoln University. Abe is involved with Rock Bridge Elementary School and has volunteered for the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, the United Way, the American Cancer Society and the Salvation Army.

Abe joined the CPSF board in 2017. “Having experienced all of my K-12 education with CPS and with two children of my own following suit, I have an appreciation of what CPSF does for CPS,” he says. “The Naught-Naught Agency is a proud sponsor of CPSF and CPS, and I am honored to serve on the board.”

Michelle Baumstark
Les Borgmeyer

Les Borgmeyer is a local sales manager for the Fox and Myzou TV stations. Les is the president for the Missouri Ad Managers Association and serves on the Advertising, Marketing and Communications Committee for the Missouri Press Association. He teaches an MBA entrepreneurship class for the University of Missouri, evening MBA and undergraduate courses at Columbia College in marketing and management, and has taught marketing for William Woods University’s undergraduate, online and MBA programs.

This is Les’ 2nd time to serve on the board for CPSF. Les serves on the board because “public education is the foundation by which we build the future of Columbia. All three of my children graduated from CPS and have all achieved masters and professional degrees. My wife, Ann, had a wonderful career as an elementary teacher and Reading Recovery specialist. I saw the dedication she had in helping children and have experienced that same dedication with most of the teachers I have met with CPS. Serving on the board of CPSF allows me to ensure future generations will have similar great experiences with support from our Foundation.”

Sally Silvers

Sally Silvers taught special education in the St. Louis County Special School District and then with the Columbia Public Schools and as an instructor at the Department of Special Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Sally holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education from Washington University and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University and the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award (now the Hero Award) for service to the community. Sally serves as vice president of the board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri.

Sally is a founding member and longtime board member of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation. “Twenty years later, the contributions of so many have impacted the lives of countless students and educators within the Columbia Public Schools. I can only imagine what will be accomplished in the next twenty years—and beyond.”

Tom Rose

Tom Rose graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine and has been in private small animal practice in Columbia ever since. He is managing partner of Rolling Hills Veterinary Hospitals in Columbia. Tom has been a longtime volunteer with Columbia Public Schools, both as a mentor to several students throughout the district and as a Partner in Education with Mill Creek Elementary. He also was a member of the CPS Board of Education from 2007-2014, serving as president from 2011-2013.

Tom joined the CPSF board because he believes the Foundation is a “vital part of helping the school district achieve its goals and overall mission of providing an excellent education for all students.” He believes that high-quality early childhood experiences are the key to success in school and in life. Tom feels the CPSF board has a “significant role to play in assisting CPS with establishing and maintaining relevant programming that will lead to greater student achievement and success.”

Sondra Flaker

Sondra Flaker was extremely active in the Columbia Public Schools during her daughters’ education and remains so after they have graduated. Sondra holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in counseling, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has served as an information specialist for the Division of Mental Health and a medical social worker at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. In addition to her work for the school system, Sondra has been an active volunteer throughout the community, earning her the J.C. Penney Volunteer of the Year Award (now the Hero Award) and the Volunteer of the Year Award in the State of Missouri. She also has been inducted into the CPSF Hall of Leaders as a Volunteer.

Sondra joined the CPSF board in 2012 as “an opportunity to give back to the Columbia Public Schools and its teachers for providing such a great education to our family.” She believes “providing excellence in public school education is extremely important to a community.”

Lynn Barnett
Past President

Lynn Barnett retired in 2009 after a 28-year career with the Columbia Public Schools, serving as an assistant superintendent for student services, secretary for the board of education, director of special education, and special education teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, a master’s degree in learning disabilities and a doctorate in education administration, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lynn is an active member of the community, having served as chair of the City of Columbia’s Cultural Affairs Commission, chair of the Family Health Center, vice president of the Columbia Downtown Rotary and as a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Services for Independent Living, among many others.

Barnett also is a Columbia Public Schools alum, having attended Parkade Elementary School, Jefferson Junior High School and Hickman High School. Her five daughters also attended and graduated from the Columbia Public Schools, and now she has four grandchildren enrolled in CPS. She joined the CPSF board in 2014. “I am proud to have been a part of the school district and feel that through my work with the CPS Foundation I can continue to support the excellent teaching and learning that is going on in our public schools,” Lynn says.

Jean Gurucharri

Jean Gurucharri is a founding member of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation. An active community volunteer for more than 30 years, Jean also is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and a diploma in nursing. Because Jean’s three daughters received an excellent education from Columbia Public Schools, she is committed to continuing that “excellence so that all our students can succeed in life.”

Jean initially served on the CPSF board from 1995-2003 and then rejoined the board in 2015. “I truly believe that outstanding schools are what make a strong city and community,” Jean says. “If our schools are not strong, then our community will not grow.”

Gale “Hap” Hairston

Gale “Hap” Hairston has spent his career in education and has watched the CPSF grow since its inception, seeing firsthand how teachers and students benefit from its grants, including “one of the most notable… CPSF’s rescue of the Critter Program.” Hap currently is director of educator preparation in the Office of Educator Quality for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He previously served as principal at both New Haven Elementary School and Rock Bridge Elementary School in Columbia, and as a principal in Fayette. He also has served as the chair of the department of education at Central Methodist University. Hap has a bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist University, a master’s degree from Truman State University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Hap joined the CPSF board in 2017 as an “opportunity to give back to education and most importantly to the Columbia Public Schools. CPSF plays a vital role in providing extra support to students, teachers and schools. CPSF also plays a vital role in communicating the great things that are happening in our classrooms while providing a vehicle for individuals, organizations and other interested parties to support CPS in a very meaningful way.”

Jenn Book Haselswerdt

Jenn Book Haselswerdt is an educator in institutions around Columbia, including The Atelier, Talking Horse Productions and Yoga to Grow.­ With her son enrolled in CPS, she sees firsthand how important it is that schools get the funding they need to support a rigorous curriculum that engages and enriches every child. Jenn has served as a drama teacher for the Wild Swan Theater, a professional children’s theater in Ann Arbor, MI, and an education program manager at Imagination Stage, a professional children’s theater in Bethesda, MD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theater with a minor in education studies from American University and a master’s degree in theater history and criticism from Catholic University of America.

Jenn joined the CPSF board in 2017 because “all children deserve a great education, and I see CPSF as a way to help provide that. I see CPSF as an important means to engage every child in a full, enriching, exciting education, regardless of socio-economic status, where they live (in the district), family life, race or ethnic background.”

Shatenita Horton

Shatenita strives to lead by example in both her professional life and her volunteer activities. Shatenita has been in banking for 20 years and is currently vice president, security officer and Forum Banking Center manager at Providence Bank. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and her master’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She is involved with several local organizations such as the Chamber Ambassadors, Columbia Metro Rotary Club, True North and Women’s Network, and previously served on the board for the Voluntary Action Center, the Women’s Network Steering Committee, the Stephens College Alumnae Association and the Missouri Bankers Association Young BankersLeadership Division. She is the co-chair for the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Columbia Program for 2017 and received the Athena Young Professional Award in 2012.

Shatenita joined the CPSF board in 2014 and is very passionate about her role on the board. “Our schools and their future progress should be top priority because giving our children the best education in turn builds the best communities,” Shatenita says.

Nyle Klinginsmith

Nyle Klingsmith is known throughout the community for his time at Jefferson Junior High School, now Jefferson Middle School, where he first began his education career as a student teacher. Nyle later served as a social studies teacher, counselor and director of guidance and principal at Jeff Junior before retiring in 2008 after 38 years with the Columbia Public Schools.

Nyle joined the CPSF board in 2009 and served as board president in 2015. “As a CPS employee, I always felt that the community valued what we were trying to do for its young people. One of the ways I knew that to be true was the work of CPSF,” Nyle says. “Here was a group of community-minded people who were willing to support innovative ideas aimed at improving our kids’ experiences. During my last decade in the schools I saw firsthand the good work of the Foundation, and now I have the opportunity to be on the other side of the table as a Board member, reading those grants and being excited once again by the opportunities they will provide to our teachers and their students.”


Lynn McIntosh was actively involved with the Columbia Public Schools when her five sons were in attendance, spending time at each of their schools through PTA, sports, theater and fundraisers. Following their graduation from CPS, Lynn spent time as a substitute teacher for CPS for eight years. She is a recipient of the Hall of Leaders Volunteer award from CPSF.

Lynn served on the CPSF board from 2007-2016 and rejoined the board in 2018. “I believe wholeheartedly that the public school system in each community defines that community. One cannot have a healthy community without solid, innovative public schools,” Lynn says. “To this end I joined the Columbia Public Schools Foundation more than ten years ago to help support our public schools through community outreach.”

Susan Blackburn
Kristen Schulte

Kristen Schulte has dedicated her professional and academic career to education and a lifelong love of the outdoors. She is the education coordinator for Missouri River Relief, a non-profit dedicated to connecting people to the Missouri River. She has served as a member of the board for the Missouri Environmental Education Association and the Ozark Trail Association. Kristen has a bachelor’s degree in recreation from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in natural science education and environmental and natural resources from the University of Wyoming.

Kristen joined the CPSF board in 2017 as part of her “commitment to connecting students and teachers to the outdoors and passion for promoting stewardship. It means an opportunity to collaborate with community members who are passionate about education.”

Jolene Schulz

Jolene Schulz earned an associate’s degree from Christian College in 1961, followed by a bachelor’s and master’s of education from the University of Missouri. She has taught kindergarteners and college students alike, including some at Columbia College, where she was an adjunct professor from 1998 to 2001. Jolene served 34 years as an administrator for the Columbia Public Schools. She has held board positions with many organizations, including the National Association of Partners in Education, Central Missouri Leadership, Missouri Community Service Commission (appointed by the Governor), National Association of States Service Association (as a representative for the State of Missouri), Columbia Junior Achievement, Ronald McDonald House Charities of mid-Missouri, Community Foundation of Central Missouri, Voluntary Action Center and Mid-Missouri Tourism. She is also a Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her work and dedication to the community, including the University of Missouri Faculty/Alumni Award, the Missouri Hazel Riback Volunteer Director of the Year Award for the State of Missouri and the Columbia College Alumni Association’s Community Service Award, among others. Jolene is currently the co-owner of Tiger Trolley Tours.

Jolene is proud to serve on the Columbia Public Schools Foundation Board as this service allows her to “continue my lifelong commitment to enriching public education and expanding learning opportunities for all students. By encouraging the business and general community to be more involved with the Foundation, I can help increase resources for teachers and opportunities for students in the Columbia Public Schools.”

Peter Stiepleman
Catey Terry

Catey Terry has watched her two children move through Columbia Public Schools and believes that anything we can do to help public schools improves the quality of life for us all. She is outreach director for the Novak Leadership Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Catey has been a member of the CPS PTA and CAGT for 16 years, including serving as president of the Grant Elementary School PTA. She is the vice chair for communications for the Assistance League of Mid-Missouri and the spokesperson for the Columbia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. Catey has a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Catey joined the CPSF board in 2017. “As my time as an active parent in CPS winds down, I am interested in finding ways to continue to support the mission of our public schools. With my own children as success stories, I believe in paying back. It is important to recognize that our schools are funded at a basic level but that so much more is possible with extra resources. The success of the Tetons trip is an example of this.”

David Townsend

David Townsend is proud of his educational experience at Columbia Public Schools and wants to “give back to the schools that meant so much to me.” David is the president and CEO of Agents National Title Insurance. David is a CPS graduate, having attended Fairview Elementary, West Junior High and Hickman High School. He is on the board of the Family Counseling Center, a member of the Columbia Sunrise Southwest Rotary, and is co-chair of the Boys and Girls Club annual campaign. He also serves as the chair of the American Land Title Association Federal Political Action Committee and as the president of Missouri Land Title. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and education from Drury University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Missouri.

David joined the CPSF board in 2017 as a way to continue the legacy of his mother, Shirley Townsend, who was heavily involved with CPS. “CPSF is a vehicle by which we as a community can support and augment the educational opportunities of CPS students,” he said. “It is also a way to give the excellent staff of our public schools additional resources to work with students and help them achieve their educational goals.”